Calf’s liver, mashed potato, bacon and melted onions

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Dominic Chapman gives everyone's favourite hearty supper a sumptuous update in this calf's liver and bacon recipe, serving the liver with creamy mash, buttery kale and a rich red wine sauce. The sauce is something of an undertaking, requiring a fair few ingredients and plenty of simmering time, but the deep, complex flavour of the finished result is worth the time taken to put it together - plus there will be plenty leftover to freeze and add a touch of luxury to other warming winter suppers.

First published in 2015




Red wine sauce

Mashed potato

Melted onions

Curly kale


Begin by preparing the red wine sauce. Roast the bones and brown off the beef, then remove from the pan and drain. Fry off the carrots, leeks, celery and pancetta until caramelised, then add the onions and star anise to the pan and fry until golden brown. Sauté the mushrooms and add all the caramelised vegetables to the braised beef and bones
Combine the port, Madeira and brandy in a large pan and simmer until reduced by half. Add the red wine and reduce by half again, then add the caramelised vegetables, meat and bones to the pan along with the tomato, stock and herbs. Simmer gently for 3 hours
While the stock is simmering prepare the melted onions. Cook the sliced onion very gently in the butter over a low heat until completely tender - this will take a couple of hours
Pass the red wine stock through a fine sieve and reduce to a sauce consistency, adding the lemon juice and chopped parsley to the pan. Strain again and set aside until required, remembering to reheat when ready to serve
To make the mashed potato, peel and cut potatoes then rinse under cold water for 10 minutes. Place in a pan and cover with water, adding 30g of salt per litre of water. Bring the pan to the boil and simmer until soft and fluffy
Drain the potatoes and pass them through a potato ricer followed by a drum sieve to create a smooth purée. Weigh the mash, adding 40g of melted butter for every 100g of potato. Mix through the butter thoroughly and set aside until closer to serving
Place the bacon on a tray and cook in the oven at 200°C until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and allow to cool
Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the kale in it for 2 minutes. Refresh in iced water, then sweat gently in butter ready to serve
For the liver, heat a dash of oil in a frying pan until hot. Slice the liver into 1cm thick pieces and fry in the hot oil until golden brown. Turn the liver over, add a little butter to the pan and fry until golden on all sides. Leave to rest for 2 minutes before serving
When ready to serve reheat the mashed potato slowly until it reaches a suitable temperature, mixing well to ensure the mash is smooth. Still stirring, add milk to the pan until the butter begins to emulsify
  • milk
To serve, pour a little of the red wine sauce onto the plate along with a generous serving of the creamy mash. Arrange a portion of kale onto the plate and top with the fried liver, spooning over more of the sauce. Garnish with the bacon and a couple of sage leaves and serve immediately

Dominic Chapman's passion for food is in the blood: his family has owned and run the highly acclaimed Castle Hotel in Taunton for over 60 years.

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